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Published February 22, 2012, 08:54 PM

New District Lines Could Mean Changes in EGF

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Redistricting plans in Minnesota may cause some incumbents to run against each other. The state introduced its new legislative district plans, the first since 2002.

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) -Redistricting plans in Minnesota may cause some incumbents to run against each other.

The state introduced its new legislative district plans, the first since 2002.

Although things in East Grand Forks and the surrounding areas will remain similar to the way they are right now, changes in metropolitan districts could eventually affect northwestern Minnesota as well as the rest of the state.

Even though political lines have been redrawn, it appears that East Grand Forks will *STILL* have the same representatives on the state and national level.

"Largely how I see this effecting EGF is its proportion of the district," said EGF City Administrator Scott Huizenga.

Since 2002, East Grand Forks has grown by 1,000, making its new population more than 8,600 people. Unlike East Grand Forks, other districts closer to the twin cities will see major changes in who is representing them.

"Short version, it's largely along partisan lines," said Huizenga.

"Their districts merged with another of the same party so it could cause a little bit of trouble with that," said EGF council member Marc DeMers.

Although East Grand Forks will remain a small piece of pie in Minnesota's demographic makeup, the changes in metropolitan districts could eventually effect this area.

"Obviously who's elected in these new districts can influence a wide range of policies from local government aid to various mandates to infrastructure funding, bonding," said Huizenga.

Since state laws are more dependent on the majority of the population, residents in rural areas like East Grand Forks will have to make sure their legislators represent the districts best interest.

"The less representation that we have out here, it becomes an issue when you go to St. Paul and try to make sure our standard of living is on par," said DeMers.

The city will now, more than ever, pay attention to laws and mandates state-wide because of these new lines.

The state redraws district lines every ten years after the census is taken so this is just a routine procedure.

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